Frank Samuel Day

Pilot Officer, 86 Squadron
Service number 123055
Died 24 Jul 1942
Buried Illogan (St Illogan) Churchyard, Cornwall
Age 28

Frank was born on 21 July 1914 in Hackney, London to Nathaniel Deitchman and Dutch mother Hanna (Rika) nee Kanter. Frank and Hanna were engaged in 1910 and their marriage took place in the Amsterdam Synagogue on 15 February 1912.

Frank’s grandparents Isaac Deitchman and Sarah Casitsky came to England from Russia. Isaac worked as a tailor and they are both buried at East Ham Jewish Cemetery. Frank’s father Nathaniel trained as an electrical engineer before becoming a successful theatrical and variety agent working from 59 New Oxford Street in London. The family started to use the surname Day in the 1920’s and the 1921 Census lists the family as living at 27 Ridgmount Gardens in London.

Frank was educated at the Jew’s Free School and obtained a scholarship for the London County Council school and played cricket for the Brady Boys Club. After school Frank became a journalist and joined the staff of the Bath Weekly Chronicle in 1935. His obituary, on the 1 August 1942 in the Bath Chronicle stated: Frank joined our reporting department in 1935 to help during the pressure of the General Election, but he displayed such marked literary ability that his services were retained, and he remained until the urge to go North to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle in 1938, when he quickly developed into a writer of feature articles. When Frank was in the West at the Trowbridge office, he was a popular personality and was involved in amateur dramatics, horse riding over the Westbury Downs and was a skilled member of the Avon Fencing Club. He was instrumental in founding the West Wiltshire branch of the National Union of Journalists becoming its first secretary.

Frank enlisted in 1939 in Newcastle and was called up on the 9 October. He was initially sent to 248 Squadron on 23 March 1940 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 4 May 1942 in 86 Squadron. Frank was the observer on Bristol Beaufort SB-X AW288 which departed from RAF Portreath at 8.55 am on a ferry flight to Malta. The aircraft crashed into Roscroggan Chapel, Cambourne in Cornwall killing all onboard.

Flight Sergeant John Campbell Atkinson 778335
Pilot Officer Frank Samuel Day 123055
Sergeant Charles Richard Taylor 946939
Sergeant John Orford Twelvetrees 1307669